Arranged Marriage in Malaysia Among Millennial Nagarathar Nattukottai Chettiars
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis research is based on a South Indian community, the Nagarathar Nattukottai Chettiars, an elite and wealthy merchant community traditionally comprised of businessmen and traders. My research seeks to investigate the acceptance of traditional arranged marriage practices by millennials of the Chettiar community currently residing in Malaysia. Marriage practices are slowly changing in most urban-dwelling communities in India to a more informal, love marriage system but the practices in the Chettiar community, both in India and abroad, are still similar to traditional practices of arranged marriage and have undergone minimal evolution. The Chettiars are a very forward-thinking community and have ventured into many top fields since their rise as a money lending community. Therefore, the practice of arranged marriage amongst the Chettiars is paradoxical as its community members are quite global and modern in thinking. Some of the research objectives include, the current expectations of millennials towards arranged marriage, its evolution, the engagement and opposition of millennials, factors such as family wealth, educational attainment, personality traits, physical appearance, status and social class on the selection of a mate at the time of marriage, the economics of marriage – the dowry system, the influence of social media in arranging a marriage and the competency of the system of arranged marriage as an integral part of the community’s trademark. Arranged marriage amongst the Chettiars is a very complex system and difficult to unpack for a non-Chettiar. I take on the lens of a young Chettiar, like myself, and interview young adults, older community members and parents of marriage age men and women to explore their perspectives on arranged marriage in this increasingly globalized world.
Degree ProgramHonors College